The Other Squad

Wilom didn’t introduce himself to the rest of the squad until after they’d left the training field, although most of his attention was taken up with trying not to wobble too much. He was sort of impressed by his ability to keep up — given that in the last almost-century he could count the number of times he’d moved faster than a walk on one hand. But he’d managed not to embarrass himself — he could at least keep up with Javrinnen and Yolin, even if he didn’t have a hope of matching Firin, who had the advantage of long legs, and Harie, who seemed to be able to turn off the parts of her brain that interacted with the outside word at will, if the Ferryman’s Knowledge had anything to go by. Continue reading

Day One

It was a relief to finally leave Mr Treene’s house.

Wilom had expected to go to the barracks within a day or two of being conscripted, but it turned out not to be that simple. He had had to organise some basic equipment, a uniform, a backpack that matched the regulation size and make. Continue reading

Last Call

There was a hastily-called meeting of the Heads the next morning, to discuss the fate of the town. Wilom didn’t know what they could do about it now, and he told them so, despite the heartbroken look on Vicdra’s face. Apparently most of them had been investigated also. Nobody could risk being further involved.

Rytel was conspicuously absent. Continue reading

Nothing Lasts

This time, as Wilom approached the gates, there were more guards than usual. This was hardly uncommon – returning patrols often stopped by the gates to talk – so it wasn’t until Wilom got much closer that he realised that they were not chatting, and in fact, that they were all looking at him. Continue reading

To Whom it May Concern

Wilom went to visit the construction site with Vanda every day for a while – with the Pathways, it was a matter of minutes to get to and from the site every morning. Rickart had thoroughly taken over the site planning, and was so obviously competent at it that Wilom honestly felt a little useless. Instead, he joined Inushi’s heavy lifting crew. Wilom realised with a start that he’d never seen a soldier in any sort of action – he’d only ever seen them either sitting on the boat, or waiting idly. Inushi was wearing only her singlet and trousers, bracing a plank of wood upright as a few men and women up on the scaffolding got themselves in place to pull it up. Wilom admired her. She was efficient and capable, and had a knack for being part of a team while she led it. Continue reading

The Approach of Finality

Wilom regretted letting Vanda talk him into see the ferryman, but he didn’t turn her away when she came to collect him. He’d meant what he said. Vanda shouldn’t need to bully him into facing his problems like an adult, and he needed very badly to be done with this particular problem. Continue reading

Enjoying the Moment

Vanda and Wilom stood overlooking the construction site. Vicdra, true to his word, had managed to get people in to help him. He’d said they were mostly those they’d already found homes for but were unhappy for one reason and another. A few of them were under investigation or the threat of investigation. Some of them had been running from place to place to avoid being caught. Just enough ID to keep them on the move. Continue reading